NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

October 12, 2012

Brews, schnitzel and family fun

Oktoberfest returns at bigger venue

One indication of a successful annual social event is the need to look for a larger venue the following year.

The Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry last year hosted an Oktoberfest at the Bartlet Mall. Tomorrow, it will hold another version, but this fall it will be at Cashman Park, which offers more space for guests and children’s activities.

It will run from noon to 6 p.m. Admission to the beer tent is $5 per person; attendees under 21 are free.

There are fees for beer, food, rides and games, and last year, this menu resulted in overflow crowds who appeared to enjoy themselves.

“Last year’s Oktoberfest was very successful,” said Ann Ormond, president of the Chamber.

“We had 1,000-plus people, and this year we moved the event to Cashman Park for more room for rides, band and food. Also, the view at Cashman Park is lovely and it should be a great day with sunny and cool weather.”

The event will feature a traditional beer garden under a tent with German food and assorted food vendors. The Oberlaendler Hofbrau Band will provide the music for the festivities.

Chamber officials call it a family-friendly day, and numerous rides have been slated for this year, including a Roaming Railroad, a merry-go-round, carnival games and other children’s activities.

Many adults appear to attend for the chance to sip German and/or craft beer, and to enjoy an outdoor event with music.

The city has a long history of enjoying beer. Historians say that as early as 1690, malt houses had been active on Ordway’s Lane, now Market Street, Greenleaf’s Lane, now State Street; and Chandler’s Lane, now Federal Street.

In 1785, Robert Laird, a Scotsman, came to Newburyport and, in company with James Ferguson, “established himself in business as a brewer of ale, beer and porter,” according to records in municipal archives.

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